Bengaluru: A group of Indian-American researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) and at the University of Utah at Salt Lake City has used a clever process to enable curcumin to kill cancer cells. Curcumin persist as the major ingredient of turmeric, the common component which adds flavour and colour to Indian dishes.
Turmeric is widely used in India as a spice and medicinal herb because of its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property since thousands of years. Curcumin has shown anti-cancer properties but its clinical application becomes impossible as it is insoluble in water. A drug cannot be flown properly through the blood stream since it is not soluble in water.
As a result of decades of research to develop efficient strategies which can deliver water soluble curcumin to fight cancer, a team headed by Dipanjan Pan, Associate Professor of Bioengineering at UIUC and Peter Stang at the University of Utah has invented ways to render curcumin soluble and to deliver it to infected tumours and to kill cancer cells. The researchers has decided to experiment with drug which is a combination of platinum and curcumin as platinum persist as a commonly used cancer therapeutic agent in the clinic.